Draft70

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CHAPTER 70

One time a German U-boat captain gazed at the shore of the Isle of Wight through his periscope and noted that St. Catherine's lighthouse stopped flashing for hours. It was a small matter but he noted the start and stop time. The report wound its way through Berlin. One clever analyst realized the data matched the start and stop time of the Clarinet signal originating from what they thought was a nearby antenna. A second observation verified the light beam remained lined up on a target in Germany that was taken out by night bombing.

In the early morning hours of June 5, 1944 a U-boat surfaced off the Isle of Wight. Commandos rowed ashore to raid the lighthouse, led by an SS captain named Felix Schaub who doubled as the political officer to ensure the crew's loyalty to the gangsters running Germany. On this occasion Felix Schaub wore his black pre-war Schutz Staffel uniform for the brutal psychological effect he knew it would have on the Mar- golies family. Judith and Edith whimpered in terror when they were tied up and threatened with pistols pointed at their heads.

Benjamin demonstrated the operation of the Clarinet system to Captain Schaub, but the Germans neither destroyed the gear nor tried to remove it to their submarine. Instead, Schaub identified each member of the Margolies family by name, and told them he knew they were Jews. "Mr. Margolies," Straub said, "this is a matter of life and death for your wife and daughter. I do not make empty threats. The fate of Edith and Judith will depend on how you answer two questions. First, what is the target area of the planned invasion across the Channel?"

Benjamin stiffened in dismay. He was confronted with the choice of losing his family or betraying the trust Admiral Sir Bertrand Ramsay had given him. To prod him along, there was a slight nod from Schaub. The hammer was pulled back on the pistol pointed at Judith's head. Margolies capitulated. It was never a question. "Dover to Calais," he said, letting escape the breath he had been holding for half a minute.

"Goot," Captain Schaub said. "And the timing?"

"I do not know the precise day. I know only that it will be during the last week of June."

The SS officer smiled. "I am a man of my word," he said. "Your family is safe. But this is what I want you to do now, Mr. Margolies. When you get your orders to operate Clarinet, you will carry them out, but you will be just a little sloppy when you align the antenna. Not too much, Mr. Margolies! Perhaps only a fraction of one degree. Just enough to throw off the resulting bombing raid by a few hundred me- ters. You will do this until your government returns to their original wisdom and no longer prosecutes its war against the Reich. But this is the most important part: you must tell no one you are sabotaging the raids, or that we were ever here."

"Or you'll return and kill us?"

"Mr. Margolies, now I am disappointed in you! What does a man have in this world if he fails to do what he promises he will do? You have my word that neither you nor your lovely wife Edith nor your beautiful young daughter Judith will be killed. But I am not sure that you are a man of your word, Mr. Margolies. So at this time we will take them to the concentration camp near Saint-Malo in France."

"No, I beg you!"

"Do not be alarmed, Mr. Margolies. Your wife Edith and your daughter will not be unduly mistreated there, nor even on the way there. This camp I mentioned that lies in Brittany is where all the British Jews we captured in the Channel Islands have been relocated. But if we learn that a future air raid using the transmitter inside this light- house is successful, things will not seem so good. But even then, my word will hold! Judith and Edith will be simply be transferred to a work camp deeper in France or perhaps even in Germany."

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